Travel Weekend

5 on a Friday: Summer Vac Anticipation Edition

August 5, 2022

1- Three podcasts this week about digital minimalism / social media break / etc:

(Here was the BLP ep along these lines: Instagram & Social Media: Real Thoughts)

Oddly enough yesterday (which felt like a totally ‘off’ day for me, for unclear reasons — I was tired, I had finished my novel, existential angst), I did the most mindless scrolling I’ve done in a while. It felt terrible. I am not tempted to do it again.

2- ERRATUM/CORRECTION – when I shared the Hobonichi announcement, I speculated that the gridlines on the English Cousin would be 4 mm (same as the English A6). An astute reader pointed out that the website specifies the gridlines and colored pages will match that of the Japanese cousin. I’m happy about the colors but wish for a tiny bit more writing space!


so good – and now I REALLY want to go to Nantucket!!!

The Bookshop description uses the phrase “immensely satisfying page-turner” and I wholeheartedly agree. I tore through this baby, and it’s not short! It would be an absolutely perfect title to bring on a beach vacation.

4- Speaking of vac – I am very much ready for ours, especially since our last attempt at a trip was foiled by COVID! On the downside, I am probably going to have to do some work, since I did not finish with a project that is due right when I get back. On the upside, this won’t be the end of the world. I will try to schedule in a few defined blocks during the kids’ screen time.

(We are headed to Amelia Island, with a strategic stop at Universal for some Harry Potter action, as well as Cape Canaveral for some space fun. This is the 3rd family trip we’ve taken to the area – we went in 2019, 2021, and now 2022!)

from last year!

5- AND, speaking of screen time- OMG my (big) kids have been on a continuous screen binge ever since returning from sleepaway camp. Next year, we actually won’t have this issue as we have our big (and fairly long!) family trip planned starting just a few days after camp ends. I am not sure how I feel about it – slightly guilty, yes. But also maybe like it doesn’t matter and it was a nice easy way to end the summer! They did get their summer packets done though I did a terrible job enforcing reading for them. I really want to work on this in the fall – perhaps some sort of deal where screen time is only after reading occurs. I also NEED to get into a library hold list rhythm with them. Will work on it around back too school!

Off to run – 5 miles on the schedule today with ‘hill repeats’ which means going up and down the one bridge-like structure in our neighborhood.


  • Reply Kailey Faith August 5, 2022 at 6:59 am

    I love all of Elin Hilderbrand books but specifically The Castaways! Nantucket is just as magical as described in her books. We go every summer (just got back actually) and I cry leaving because it really is the best place ever. It’s known as “the best kept secret” but over the last few year it has gotten significantly more busy – it’s not a secret place any more!

  • Reply Ames August 5, 2022 at 9:12 am

    Maybe it’s the start of the new school year (on Monday for my rising HS junior) – this post brought back fabulous memories of the Scholastic book orders. Did you have those growing up? The days my teachers handed out the newest booklet were the BEST of the whole school year. I furiously circled, dog eared and highlighted my copy trying to decide how I would spend the money my parents gave me.

    I know you didn’t ask for book recommendations – so feel free to scroll right on by. I joke with my husband that my dream job is “book matchmaker”. There’s not much that makes me happier than finding the right book for the right person. My kiddos are older than yours – some titles that I remember them loving are:

    In the graphic novel category –
    Amulet series (
    Any graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier (
    Phoebe Simpson’s “Unicorn” series .. these might be fun to read to / with G (
    The Bone series (

    My now HS junior was a reluctant reader until she found her “gateway drug” book in Percy Jackson (The Lighting Thief). At the end of her 6th grade year (ie. after state testing) her teacher did a quick unit on Greek mythology. Her class read (or listened to the audiobook) of the first couple of chapters and she was HOOKED – had to find out how the story ended. Perhaps an audiobook idea for what I assume is a lot of time in the car for vacation travels! (

    Both kids read and enjoyed Touching Spirit Bear in middle school as part of the curriculum. It’s an adventure, coming of age story set in Alaska. Check the book description because there are some “heavier” themes. But – it’s also a book that you could read and discuss with your kids. I read it and loved it, and my own mother read it and loved it. It’s a book that will stay with you. (

    My oldest and I read Wonder together when she was going through a rough stage in middle school. We read a chapter or so every night and talked (and cried) together. It’s a really special memory to reflect on now that she’s a college freshman. You may have seen the movie – but of course the book is so much better!

    Thanks for sharing the link to the Hobonichi preview party – I’m checking it obsessively every day. I’m torn between getting the Cousin in the English version and the Cousin Avec. The 5 year journal revealed last night / today will definitely be on my order.

    Have a GREAT time on vacation. I’m putting Amelia Island on my travel bucket list. We’ve spent a lot of time on Atlantic beaches (NC, SC, FL) but have never made it to Amelia.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 5, 2022 at 10:14 am

      Thank you so much for these! My kids do love the Raina Telgemeier (Sisters, etc) and I will show A and C the rest!

      Their school doesn’t do Scholastic! I agree it’s a loss 😭

    • Reply V August 5, 2022 at 1:00 pm

      I had SUCH an excellent flashback reading your description of the Scholastic book lists!!!! It was so fun getting the booklet, and even better, such a thrill when I would get into class, and the books would be piled on my desk! I still have most of those books, decades later.

  • Reply V August 5, 2022 at 9:28 am

    TOTALLY agree about The Hotel Nantucket. Is that the book you were referring to, when you said you felt “off”, partially bc you had finished your novel? I did! Was like, I have a pile of library books but it’s just not gonna be the same.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 5, 2022 at 10:14 am

      Yes!!! Maybe that was the root of my mood!!

  • Reply Chelsea August 5, 2022 at 10:19 am

    I’ll be curious to hear about your experience at Universal. I would love to see the Harry Potter stuff, but my kids are not big riders (no one wanted to go on anything more adventurous than Peter Pan and Ratatouille at Disney) so I wonder if they would actually enjoy it that much.

    • Reply Grateful Kae August 5, 2022 at 11:24 am

      Universal has a TON of 3-D type rides that aren’t actually rollercoaster rides, but still feel very thrilling. (By the end of our trip though I was honestly a little jumpy from things “flying at my face”!! Hahaha). So maybe your kids would be ok with those? My kids love any and all rides but I feel like universal has a nice variety. When we went mine were too short for the biggest rollercoasters yet and we still needed 3 full days to cover the 2 parks. There’s much cool stuff, not even taking the whole Harry Potter thing into account (which is incredibly awesome, and I say this is a NON Harry Potter fan.. literally have tried to watch the 1st movie 5 times and always fall asleep. 😬 Kinda same on the books…).

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 5, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    I haven’t read a Hillenbrand book in a very long time so will have to check that one out – maybe for our Mexico trip in December. I like to read lighter books on beach trips like that, and it’s kid-free so I will actually have time to read!

    I hope you guys have a great family vacation! It is awesome that you have so many choices a short drive away. That is so not the case in Minnesota. The north shore is nice but our kids are on the young side for that kind of vacation because ideally you want to hike in that area and I am not keen to carry either kid on my back while hiking. 😉 We’ll be heading back to FL next winter at some point. We’ve done the Tampa area and then just north of Sarasota. We preferred the area north of Sarasota. I wish there were reasonable direct flights to Sarasota from MN because the drive from Tampa to that region is long, or felt long with a young kid! We’ll have to consider Amelia Island for our next trip. My husband grew up going to Fort Myers so that’s another area we want to check out.

    Hope you figure out a holds list cadence. I request anything recommended by the kids list on so I pick those up as they are available, and then we do a weekly trip to the library on Saturday mornings. But getting picture books is so different from middle grade type of books. We check out about 20 books/week and run out of things to read by the end of the week most weeks. But with chapter books, you have to control the holds better since those take longer to get through. I like how easy it is to manage ebook holds but ebooks are probably not ideal for young readers? I am just speculating as I have no idea! But I like that I can always pause an ebook hold whereas physical books require more active management (although I love that you can pause holds and still move up the hold list).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 5, 2022 at 12:46 pm

      you can fly into Jacksonville for Amelia if you ever go! We love it. I enjoy Sanibel/Captiva, Vero, and the Keys, but Amelia is my favorite. It’s a 5.5-6 hr drive though – not terribly far but definitely not in our backyard either!

  • Reply ASW August 5, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    When you’re ready to share (assuming you are, which you may not ever!), I’m so curious to hear about this big trip already booked for next summer!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 6, 2022 at 9:41 am

      Alaska Disney cruise followed by Seattle/Portland! Will (hopefully) be a memorable and exciting trip.

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